Jun 2, 2006 11:20pm
Re: The Grateful Dead
I was walking on the back lawn at Lowell High school when it happened...
a frizzed-out long haired dude was playing his mono Craig cassette deck (2- D battery powered), and a song with a quiet tinkly opening gradually turned into a thunderous riff that hooked me right in...
I asked what it was, and found out it was St. Stephen by the Grateful Dead, that the guy had taped at a recent live show, in 1970.
The sound though primitive, was just what I was looking for... celtic folk like Donovan ("Hurdy Gurdy Man") or Deep Purple ("Hush")yet with a fat-bottomed country blues rockin' boogie bomp, like the Buffalo Springfield (""Hung Upside Down") or Rolling Stones ("Honky Tonk Women").
I had been listening to top 40 radio since '62, but even as an instant Beatlemaniac never felt the urge to actually see a live show.
But something about that tape, that just anybody could make a recording right on the spot; and that song, St. Stephen, left me wanting to take the plunge.
I had to go alone with no help from any friends inside that forboding palace of hippie freakdom.
Up til then I had just riden past the Carousel Ballroom/Fillmore West (at Market and Van Ness).
I went to the upcoming Dead concert,
the first live dance concert I ever went to, in April 1970.
2nd on the bill was this strange jazz trumpet player I had never heard before who did these stacatto-like walk up to the mike and blow, then he'd walk off the stage frenzied, yet deliberate expressions...
that horn dog was Miles Davis, playing on the same night as those maniac cowboys in the Dead...
When they took the stage, they one-lined Zap comix-type improvised banter.
They made people who were alone out in the dark feel at home.
Listen to live versions of St. Stephen from mid to late 1968 especially, though it has many great versions throughout 1969-1970 as well.
From there, you're on your own.
You're never all alone singing along with:
Golden Road, Cryptical Envelopement, Alligator, Caution, Saint Stephen, The Eleven, Cumberland Blues, Casey Jones, Me and My Uncle, Bertha, The Wheel,
Mission In The Rain, Unbroken Chain, Franklin's Tower, Dire Wolf,
I Hear A Voice Calling, Turn On Your Lovelight, Hard To Handle,
Scarlet Begonias, I Know You Rider, Cold Rain And Snow, Morning Dew,
He Was A Friend Of Mine, Keep Rolling By, China Cat Sunflower,
The Other One, Viola Lee Blues, Stealin', Mr. Charlie, Jack Straw, Ripple,
Alabama Getaway, New Speedway Boogie, Cosmic Charlie, Truckin',
Attics Of My Life, Cold Jordan, And We Bid You Goodnight.
This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-06-03 06:20:34 Attachment: Grateful Dead fan clu#15ADE.jpgAttachment: Dark_Star_Born.jpg